OCA Romanian Episcopate bishop canonically deposed
A Synodal Court was held during the recent OCA Holy Synod annual retreat, which canonically deposed Bp. Irineu (Duvlea), Auxiliary Bishop of the OCA’s Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America, returning him to the rank of lay monk, reports the press service of the Orthodox Church in America.
It was announced in September 2015 that former Bp. Irineu was under investigation by the Office for Review of Sexual Misconduct Allegations, at which point he was placed on Leave of Absence and not allowed to serve liturgically, pending the outcome of the investigation. Irineu (Duvlea) had been nominated as an episcopal candidate on June 28, 2002 and consecrated to the episcopacy at St. George Cathedral in Southfield, MI on November 1-2, 2002.
Having held court at St. Demetrius Orthodox Church in Jackson, MI, during the Synod’s June 19-23 retreat, His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon addressed a letter to the Romanian Episcopate, announcing the Synod’s decision, the full text of which is posted on the OCA’s site. “After much prayerful and intense deliberation, the Synodal Court determined that Bishop Irineu be deposed from the episcopacy, removed from the ranks of the clergy and returned to the status of a simple monk,” the letter reads, with a note that the details of the matter are confidential and will not be publicly released.
The Holy Synod came to the sorrowful decision for the good of former Bp. Irineu’s soul, “and for the preservation of the good order and stability of the flock of Christ.”
The OCA primate closes his letter with an exhortation to prayer, “so as not to be overcome by divisive emotions, but rather seek to attain the peace of Christ,” and his own prayer: “May our merciful and loving God strengthen all of us to do His will in all things and preserve in our hearts the grace of the Holy Spirit, who is everywhere present and fills all things.”